Should You Be Worried About Flying Ants in Your Home?

In a word, yes. You should be worried about seeing flying ants inside your home – particularly in the winter. That’s because ants only fly or grow wings when they are about to breed. Usually, ants live outdoors and may probably have gotten inside your home through a crack, hole, gap or any opening.

Also called alates, these winged ants are simply sexually mature ants. They seek shelter in warm areas (like your home) during winter so they can breed.

How to Tell Between Flying Ants and Termites?

Carpenter ants with wings often get mistaken for termites (with wings). You’ll known it’s a carpenter ant when it fits the following description:

  • Narrow waist
  • Dark color
  • Front wings are longer than hind wings
  • Bent antennae

Aside from these characteristics, you are also likely to see carpenter ants in the open because termites usually live in wooden structures like the back of your staircase, walls, etc. Both pests can be very destructive to homes, with termites being the worse of the two. That’s because termites eat wood (food source), while carpenter ants only use wood for nesting. 


Whether your home has winged ants or winged termites, what it basically means is they’re going to breed. The wings indicate that the insect is either a queen or a reproductive male. They swarm in order to mate and then the males die, while the queens lose their wings and look for a nesting site.

A winged ant that you see in your home during summer months is not necessarily a threat. It’s likely that it simply flew in from outside and would probably die before it could find a nesting site. It’s different during winter months, because flying ants are not active outdoors around this time so it can only mean they are already nesting.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

You’re most likely to find nesting carpenter ants in wet, damp or rotting wood. The first thing you need to do to get rid of them is to replace the rotten wood and dispose of the infested item properly.

Next is to use insecticide to kill the ants. Insecticidal dust is especially formulated to kill carpenter ants and it’s designed for homes and indoor locations. You can inject this product in the spot or area where the ants are nesting, or drill small holes in order to inject the product.

Another option is bait. It’s safer albeit slow-acting. When the ants forage for food, they will pick up the bait and bring back to the colony. Once it kills the queen, the entire colony is also eliminated. 

While supermarkets often carry insecticide sprays we don’t really recommend this. When you use spray, you’re only killing the foraging ants and not the queen ant. So it will not eradicate the colony.

If you have a major ant or termite problem, you may want to hire a professional like Massey Pest Control to handle the issue for you. They can properly assess the situation, find the colonies, and effectively eliminate them quickly and safely.

Category: Tips